View Full Version : Tutorial: Texturing Using the Smudge Tool
9th Nov 2010, 04:33 AM
When it comes to texturing for the sims, there are two tools I swear by: Gaussian Blur and the Smudge Tool. I learned the Gaussian Blur technique from Faylen's Shadows and Highlights (http://www.modthesims.info/showthread.php?t=140780) tutorial. The only thing about her method is that it doesn't give you much control over the highlight/shadow shape.
My method uses the smudge tool and it allows for free range texturing in all shapes, sizes and directions.
What is the smudge tool?
The smudge tool is pretty self explanatory in function. Sometimes it's grouped with the Blur/Sharpen tool, so you may have to right-click on it to get to the smudge tool.
How can it help me?
The smudge tool is really great for general blending. You can replicate a multitude of texture details, such as, soft folds or hard creases with this tool. You can also add highlights or shadows with more precision and control.
The vast majority of this texture was created using the smudge tool. Notice the soft, silken folds in various shapes and sizes.
Okay! Show me how!
The following is a simple tiptorial of the techniques that I use to texture. This is intended for your to adapt my pointers to your own personal style, so prior knowledge of your imaging program is required.
It's always good practice to work with multiple layers while texturing. That way if you mess up one part or aren't satisfied with it, you can simply delete it without having to start over completely.
9th Nov 2010, 05:05 AM
The most basic element of clothing is the fold. They can seem really simple but can be difficult to replicate for new creators.
The first thing you need to do is trace out the basic folds of your texture. Using the line tool, map out the creases of the folds.
Select the smudge tool and set the strength to 40%-50%. Make sure that the "Use All Layers" box is unchecked and the mode is set to Normal.
Adjust the brush to a size that's manageable and run it over the fold lines.
Use short sweeping motions for smoother creases and long swipes for more dramatic ones. Also, try rocking the smudge brush side to side to soften the lines to your liking. If you accidentally make a line crooked, simply "rock it" back to place.
Next, with thicker lines of a lighter hue, map out the space in between the folds. This will create the highlight.
Using the smudge tool again, and the techniques mentioned above. Smear the whites to create the desired highlight. Be careful not to touch the dark crease lines. To prevent this, it's best to work within a new layer to create your highlights.
If you worked in layers, merge the crease and highlight layers together. Use the smudge tool to fade/blend/soften the folds to your liking.
9th Nov 2010, 05:23 AM
Similar to folds, wrinkles are another basic texture detail. However, wrinkles take a bit more "planning" to execute nicely.
First, take your brush tool and draw the creases of where your wrinkles would be. Wrinkles tend to flow into each other in soft sweeping motions.
Next--preferably on a new layer--fill in the creases with a lighter hue.
Take your smudge tool and set the strength to 40%-50%. Make sure that the "Use All Layers" box is unchecked and the mode is set to Normal.
Adjust the brush to a size so that it's slightly bigger than the white blotches.
Run the smudge tool over the whites until they are smooth and sit in between the dark crease lines.
Merge all your working layers together and blend the dark lines into the white highlights. Use rocking motions and elongated sweeps to exaggerate the wrinkles folds.
Depending on the look that you're going for, you can keep manipulating the wrinkle until it's soft and subtle. Or, you can touch it lightly for harsher wrinkles.
9th Nov 2010, 05:41 AM
Sometimes you may have a nice neckline of one creation that you want to duplicate on another creation. Or maybe you like the skirt texture from another dress. The best way to go about combining the two textures is by "Frankensteining" them!
For example, let's take the skirt texture from the image on the left and apply it onto the image on the right.
Simply copy and paste one texture part onto the other.
If you look closely, you can see that the hues of the skirt don't quite match up with the bodice of the other texture. You could readjust the skirt's color, but that doesn't always work.
Instead, use the smudge tool to blend the hard edge of the skirt texture into the bodice. This time, check the "Use All Layers" box. Take small gentle gestures around the edges at first, then sweep outward to blend in.
It takes a lot of practice and patience to blend something, especially when you're working with little room for smudging. But, eventually, you should get a nice transition from one texture to another.
9th Nov 2010, 05:56 AM
Sometimes you may want to blend two textures together without exclusively keeping the integrity of either texture. For example, let's take the skirt texture and reapply it to the other dress. This time, however, we're going to blend the skirt texture into one flowing dress.
I cut the trim part off the skirt, and now I want to blend it into the other dress.
Select the smudge tool and use the previous techniques to blend the textures to a desired effect.
Sometimes textures don't always blend smoothly. You can see the dark smudge created on the skirt of the texture. That can easily be fixed by adding a faux-highlight. Simply block in the "highlight" where the texture is too dark. It helps to create a new layer for this.
Using the smudge tool again, smear out the white until it covers the needed area.
Notice that our highlight is way too bright. We can fix this by adjusting the hue/saturation of the highlight. Another way to adjust it is to lower the opacity of the highlight layer until it looks natural.
After some fiddling around, you should now have a new "grafted" in skirt texture. My example is a rushed demo, so of course, a serious creation's texture would look way more better than mine.
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